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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Friday, September 14, 2007

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day for September

Do you remember July? Many of the plants seen on July's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day haven't forgotten it: A new stalk of Amarcrinum 'Fred Howard' suddenly shot up next to a pink cuphea full of bees. The pink gaura never stops, the balloon flowers keep opening as long as I pop off the old buds, and there are a few mini-roses, too.

The container plants like impatiens and this lantana-and evolvolus combo may not stop until Halloween. The blossoms continue on Oxalis, butterfly bush, orange cuphea and Batfaced cuphea, dianthus, Turkscap, Rock Rose/Pavonia, Salvia greggii and Zinnia linearis. One or two buds appear biweekly on the 'Little Gem' magnolias. The Russian sage plants all look ratty and the phlox does, too, but I'll count their few florets as blooms. When mealy bugs attacked the 'Black & Blue' salvia and the Salvia guaranitica I cut them down to ground level.

Do you remember August? September doesn't look much different here, still decorated with one open stalk of Hedychium coronarium/White Ginger, the delicate Cypress Vine, Coral Honeysuckle, Plumeria/Frangipani, Bengal Tiger canna, night-blooming jasmine and blue plumbago.

Looking out the back door I see the obelisk concealed beneath moon vines and blue pea vines. At right, nearer the fence, the Blue River II white hibiscus is balanced by the white 'Acoma' crepe myrtles at left. My neighbors on the left and at the back grow tall pink crepe myrtles which loom overhead. Something tall & yellow is missing - the native Sunflower is just a browned stalk now.

Once again the passionflowers have buds, with no new caterpillars in evidence. I hope they get the chance to open.

All the yellow trumpets turned white and fell from the Brugmansia/Angels Trumpet, leaving buds as promissory notes for next week. I feel a little guilty about this, since gardeners like Kate in Saskatchewan have already had to cover plants at night.

The most exciting September openers were a gift from MSS at Zanthan Gardens, the Oxblood lilies/Rhodophiala bifidia seen in the last post. I planted the bulbs in small clumps in six parts of the yard, and they've opened one after another [ perhaps in response to sun exposure?] then faded. This bouquet opened just in time.

Two large plants of Pineapple sage/Salvia elegans are barely budded, opening only one flower. I love the smell of the crushed leaves and have read they can be used in fruit salad, teas, and jelled desserts. Last winter knocked my plants back to the ground but in gentler years flowers also form in spring so they're here to greet the hummingbirds upon their return. I'm not sure if the salvia will open fully before our hummingbirds leave this fall.

The annual portulaca sulked during the rainy part of summer. It's a chunkier cousin to moss rose which never grew much, but I like that coral color.

This summer's odd weather also delayed the blooming of the tropical milkweed/Asclepias curassavica - I haven't seen any Monarch caterpillars as yet. Several generations of larvae grew on last year's plants and these flowers are ready if the Monarchs return.

Two of the three plants of Blue Skyflower/Duranta erecta finally deigned to bloom. The flowers on both are in the blue-purple range, but this one has white edges that reflect light in an interesting way - all I did to the photo was to resize it.

Oh - here's another new blossom. My friend Ellen, giver of the gorgeous grape-scented iris, also gave me a start of an unusual kind of Butterfly bush. We're pretty sure it's Buddleia lindleyana. Unlike butterfly bushes such as 'Black Prince'. this one is not upright but weeps, dangling long droopy flowers that don't start until late summer.

Okay, May Dreams Carol! Here's the final flower for September Bloom Day - I can't leave without posting this night photo with flash, celebrating the fragrant flowers on the Moon vine.


  1. So much to see and admire in your garden. Imagine me darting from plant to flower across the yard and exclaiming "what's this?", "Oh, I love that!", "Could that possibly grow in my Indiana garden?"

    Thanks for a beautiful post for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  2. Great show! I knew it was the 14th today, but I completely forgot what that means. One more thing I have to do tomorrow...

  3. Thanks for sharing your garden pictures. I enjoyed the tour. Since, I am in the South too, I hope as it cools down I will begin to see more blooms in my garden also. I am adding you to my list of garden bloggers, so that I will be sure to visit again soon. :)


  4. Such lovely blooms Annie and so many of them too, always good that. ;-)

    That grape-scented Iris looks very pretty and so does the blue Skyflower. The rain has done your garden (and many other in Austin) a lot of good!

    BTW my blooms are up too. Have a lovely weekend!

  5. Hello!
    Marie from Norway paid you a visit! Beautiful flowers on your photoes. Pleace visit me on my blog, it's in Nowegian but I hope you will enjoy my photos. Have a really nice weekend :o)

  6. Your garden amazes me - all the different kinds of plants that I can only read about. I am quite taken with the pineapple sage and the butterfly bush. I like the idea of the droopy flowers. The blue skiyflower is gorgeous.

    And can we see more photographs of the blue pea vine? I love that.

    My morning glories are now a memory - even with covering them, they died. So did one of the Dipladena vines. The passionflowers survived thankfully, although I wonder if the buds will flower now. I will now be coming here to get my fill of beautiful blooms.

    The moon flowers were a lovely touch to end your post - if I may dare say, they look most swish.

  7. I just had to wipe the keyboard... probably drool from looking at that blue skyflower with the white edges--Wow!

    My pineapple sage is flowering, too, but silly me forgot to include that on my post. I tried it in a container this year and it's tiny... grown as an annual in the ground it generally grows to the size of a small shrub for me, about 3ft. tall and 18in wide. (It does make a nice tea, and a fun addition to fruit salad, too.) How big does it grow there if it's not "knocked back to the ground" in the winter?

    I loved the picture of the moonflower vine in the dark. And I am definitely going to try zone-bending with some of those oxblood lilies this year, after seeing the lovely color on yours.

  8. Nice selection of stuff, Annie. I agree with Kim those Oxblood Lilies have a fantastic color.

  9. Dear Annie,I am completely lost in your garden, it is so beautiful!
    It is very similar to my garden, yet there is so much more. I wish I could grow the grape scented Iris and the lovely Moon vine.

  10. Annie--is that Buddleia hardy to me??? It's so fabulous!
    (I love your camera!! are you still using the EasyShare??)

  11. Those oxblood lilies are just gorgeous! And the butterfly bush (the weeping one) is really interesting. Thanks for the nighttime view of the moonvine - I didn't get my seeds in the ground this year, and it's been the first time in years that I haven't had them climbing up to my deck where I can enjoy them at night. Do you get those colorful hummingbird moths around yours?

  12. Your lilies have all been so lovely this year...I feel an addiction coming on!

  13. I'm sighing over your moonflower vine, Annie. That duranta is intense. You're right---the photo does look as if the colors could have been tinkered with. Your post reminds me that the pink cuphea you gave me is blooming, though my bat-faced cupheas are not doing much.

    Your garden looks great. I expected more pinks, but maybe different colors are taking over for fall?

  14. Annie, what a great shot of the moonflower vine. And a weeping butterfuly bush? I can always count on you to have both unusual (to me) and beautiful flowers for Bloom Day.

  15. Ooh, I'm imagining that I've just crushed a leaf of the pineapple sage and taken a sniff. Forgot to plant any this year - what was I thinking? It would be so lovely to have it as a perennial.

    What a pretty Buddleia! Does it have the same sweet scent as the B. davidii varieties? I killed a B. alternifolia once - it also has an arching habit, or so I'm told.

  16. Annie, your garden is at it's peak now, right? It's fabulous. I love portulacas and I recall them coming back every year when I was in Maryland. I'm hoping the same happens here in NC.

  17. Hello Carol - thank you, and a lot of it could grow in your garden!

    Hello Chuck -thank you! Will we someday have a Pavlovian response and start photographing flowers whenever we hear the term "fifteenth"?

    Welcome Rose - I will go to your site soon!

    Hello Yolanda - they're all in small clumps - no full borders like yours! I'm watering the garden again... my part of Austin had only a little rain recently - Central Austin had much more.

    Thanks from coming all the way from Norway, Marie - I'll go to see your garden, too.

    Kate, my garden is too choppy to ever make a grand display, but I can't resist trying lots of different plants. I think you could grow Duranta as an annual. It's perennial for other Austin gardeners, but been an annual for me. I'll try to get another blue pea vine photo - in closeup they're looking a little bug-bitten!

    Hello Blackswamp Kim, I should have guessed there'd be enough contrast in Pineapple sage! At one time it was about 3 feet wide, maybe 3 feet tall. The old stems sometimes get creepy like old basil stalks. And once in awhile the whole thing dies. I try to keep a few plants going.

    Hi Digital Flower Pictures - thank you. As MSS from Zanthan has noted, it's not exactly a color that fits in with everything, but is around for such a short time that we don't care!

    Oh dear, Green Thumb, it never occured to me that you couldn't grow iris or the moon vine! You also have such wonderful tropical fruit!

    Sissy, this was a division from last fall, so it's pretty new to me. I've seen it listed as zone 5B, but it might die to ground level in the north like the regular Buddleya davidii sometimes does. I keep my fingers crossed this EasyShare keeps going as it approaches 5 years old!

    Hello Pam from South Carolina! I had the moon vine on the fence last year and did catch a photo of a sphinx moth at night for the October 7, 2006 post. Having the vine on the obelisk makes the flowers easier to photograph, and I've seen the moths but not managed to catch one again.

    Leslie - when it comes to plant family addictions, I'm more likely to fall for the monocots! It was daylilies, trumpet lilies, hostas and iris in Illinois - here it's any lily-like thing I can get to grow.

    Your garden is so fabulous Pam in Austin! It's hard to imagine you sighing over mine ;-]

    I resize, then sometimes sharpen and fix the contrast, but try not to mess with the color.

    My bat-faced cupheas are in full flower right now, too. Once that Pineapple sage gets going I'll take more photos of the Hummingbird bed.

    The pink garden is mostly crepe myrtle, Mexican oregano and gaura right now - coneflowers done, petunias fizzled with chrysanthemums and asters not open.

    Hello LostRoses, thank you. Ellen has unusual plants and has been generous with passalongs!

    Entangled, maybe one of these days I'll do something culinary with the pineapple sage leaves, but crush and inhale is always good.

    I didn't notice a scent on the Buddleya. Supposedly in sheltered spots in Houston gardens this species can be trained like a small arching tree, but we get a lot colder than Houston.

    With most of my garden green and white, Mary - I'm not sure there is a peak. Some plants bloom in succession for a short time, like the Oxblood lilies, while some core plants like Dianthus, salvias, Turkscap, and the coral honeysuckle can bloom month after month.

    My portulacas do better in containers than in the ground and they don't have much chance to reseed. Once we have a frost, it's time to plant winter annuals in the pots - plants like pansies, alyssum, and snapdragons that hate our summers. I hope yours come back for you!

    Thank you all,


  18. Ginger, honeysucle, plumeria, jasmine, It must smell heavenly in your garden.

    Your moon vine looks like night blooming morning glories.

    I love the blue skyflower. I might have to get me one of them.

    I wish I had better luck with brugmansia. I didn't even try this year. I will have to do some research and try again.

    Your garden is lovely as always.

  19. Annie, your garden is beautiful. I really like the pineapple sage and also the weeping buddleia. I have moonflower but haven't tried taking pictures at night.

  20. Well, I said it somewhere else, but I'll say it here too. all these Austin gardens are making me want to move to Texas! Or at least a couple of zones south of here. Absolutely beautiful.

  21. Wow, Annie, you still have a lot of flowers blooming.

    I don't think I've ever seen a prettier portulaca. Wonderful color!

    I also love the moonflowers. I 've never had any luck growing them.

  22. I am very jealous that you can easily grow Hedychium coronarium. The flowers look very lovely and I can just imagine the wonderful fragrance of the flowers. It's great to see plants that are unusual to our location like the Duranta erecta. Also thanks for reminding me to put Cupheas on my buy list.

  23. Lovely to bask in the heat and brilliance of your garden, Annie, after being windblown, windblown, and more windblown while on my trek across Nfld and Labrador!
    That Yubi portulaca has been a bit of a disappointment here, too. Last year I had great colour and flowers from them, but this year they've been insipid--a different cultivar but I forget which one. Oh well, there's always next year, right?

  24. Huh... it must get as tall here in a season as it's going to, then. It just gets fuller there. Thanks for answering my questions all of the time, Annie--I appreciate it.

    Signed, the garden drama queen *wink*

  25. Wow...I'm late stopping by to see your blooms, but...wow! I really love that moon vine, wish mine would bloom already! I had a bud that was on the cusp, and covered the vine the other night to protect it from an early frost. Well in doing so, I broke the bud! Rats! Ah well, I can enjoy yours...just can't smell em'!

  26. I'm late commenting, but I've been by earlier to read about your blooms for early September. I always love touring your gardens Annie, and find lots of blooms that are new to me. All are fascinating and I'd love to stroll through with you in person...and then sit down for a chat near the White Ginger, or the Frangipani :) I'll be interested to see how your new Buddleia does.
    Can we grow pineapple sage up here? I think I saw it at Cornell Plantations, unless there's more than one red sage.


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